The government says it is supporting officials in Leicester in their battle against coronavirus (Covid-19) after a report the city could be subject to Britain’s first local lockdown this week.
The Sunday Times said the government was preparing to impose the lockdown “within days” after a surge in coronavirus cases in the city.
The paper said health secretary Matt Hancock had been examining legal aspects of the shutdown. This was after it was revealed 658 new cases were recorded in the Leicester area in the two weeks leading up to 16 June.
On Sunday 28 June, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stopped short of saying a local lockdown was likely for Leicester. But it acknowledged the city was an area of concern and urged residents to be vigilant against the virus. A department spokesperson said in a statement:
We are supporting the council and local partners in Leicester to help prevent further transmission of the virus…
We have deployed four mobile testing sites and made thousands of home testing kits available, to ensure anyone in the area who needs a test can get one.
NHS Test and Trace will contact anyone testing positive to help them identify their recent contacts and advise who may have been near to someone with the virus to stay at home to prevent the spread.
We urge the people of Leicester to continue to practice social distancing, wash their hands regularly, get tested immediately if they have symptoms and follow the advice they receive if contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This advice is there to protect communities and save lives.
The Sunday Times said Leicester’s rise in cases follows an outbreak in food production plants in the area and reports of large crowds gathering outside takeaway restaurants.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?